Located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, the expansion and renewal of the Rideau Centre provides for four new levels of retail as well as three levels of underground parking for Ottawa’s leading shopping destination. First opened in 1983, the original mall consisted of façades with minimal openings and an inward-looking design with dark, artificially lit corridors. The centre’s original pre-cast exterior was replaced with a modern façade featuring large expanses of glass and direct entrances from Rideau Street. The new design creates a robust street presence and an increased level of interaction with passersby.
Opening the corridors and shops within the mall to the Ottawa skyline, the design allows natural light to flood in and create a more inviting and bright feeling. Retailers within the mall use the large windows to entice consumers to explore their shops and some have incorporated sitting areas and cafés, which allow customers to admire the view. More than just a shopping centre, the mall has become a destination to observe city life.
The redesign also informs and responds to the revitalization work along Rideau Street. The revitalization includes Ogilvy Square, a new public plaza connecting Rideau St to the Arts Precinct—also led by B+H—and the OLRT’s Rideau Street station (opening in 2018) along with the related improvements to the pedestrian environment on Rideau Street. This $360-million expansion and renovation involved the relocation of several tenants and the addition of new retailers, many of which are new to the Ottawa market.